THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 9-29-13

LESSON TITLE: “GOD’S PEOPLE ARE TO BE SEPARATE.”

WELCOME

Paul once proclaimed that he would glory, only in the “Cross of Jesus Christ.” Has the Cross of Jesus affected your life?

Let me welcome you to our program on this the Lord’s day. We thank God that you have chosen to be with us today, and we are excited about this opportunity we have together to glorify our Creator. Won’t you do your part to make this time acceptable in his sight and according to his will. Now, let’s speak to our Father in prayer.

(PRAYER)

One of the greatest blessing we have as Christians is to praise God in song. Furthermore, how encouraging it is to have this avenue of worship to our Creator! So, this morning won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together our first hymn of the morning. The name of the song “Will Your Anchor Hold!”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

I was reminded of a story the other day about several mountain climbers who were climbing in the Swiss Alps. The lead climber, as he was descending from the mountain, lost his footing and fell. His momentum dragged the next two climbers after him. Seeing the catastrophe, the other climbers braced themselves for the jolt. As the three went over the cliff the rope pulled tighter and tighter and eventually snapped under the tremendous force. The others watched in horror as their three friends fell to their death. Once the others were to a safe place, they examined the broken rope in disbelief. What they discovered was that there was no red strand in the middle of it. Climbers use a special type of rope which has a red safety strand running through it, which adds special strength to withstand extreme tension similar to the accident of the day. The rope they had been using was a cheap imitation, not the real thing. The substitute was weak and cost three men their lives.

This story should touch each of us to the heart as we think about the loss of life over such an avoidable mistake. However, how many go through life every day making the same type of choices in their own lives. They choose the easy way, cheaper way, or way of least involvement. But why would people make such a choice? Most likely because they are caught up in self, what’s in it for me, or how can I best get by attitudes.

Now apply these thoughts and principles to those things of a religious nature. As those created by God and living on this earth, we likewise need a red strand running through our lifeline. Sure we have family, friends and acquaintances in this life, but without Jesus Christ life just wouldn’t be worth living. More specifically, without His blood that was shed on the cross for our sake, we could not know the true joys of this life or the life to come. We could not have forgiveness of sins. We, as well as all on this earth would be eternally lost.

Oh, how precious the blood of Christ is and should be to all of us today. Why? Because, as Paul said to the Ephesian brethren, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ,” Ephesians 2:13.

Have you been brought nearer to God through the blood of His Son Jesus? Have you responded to the greatest gift ever offered to all mankind, in this life? Have you been cleansed through the power of Jesus blood?

Today we continue our series of study focusing on our series entitled, “His Own Special People.” Together, we will consider our topic of the morning which will deal with the fact that, “God’s People Are To Be Separate.” So please continue with us this morning and after our next song I will return with this lesson from God’s Word. It’s now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, “When We All Get To Heaven.”



(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. Thank you so much for continuing with us this morning as we now once again return to 1Peter 2:9 to consider yet again another important lesson in the fact that we are God’s special people. We are not just anyone’s people but we are His special people. In the fact that we are God’s special people that certainly places a lot of hope, blessings, encouragement, and certainly joy with us. But it as well, challenges us to be those who understand the great privilege, the opportunity, and the responsibility we have as God’s chosen people to wear His name proudly, boldly, and properly. So that’s what this series of lessons is all about as we have considered the fact that we truly are the special chosen people of God today on this earth. As well as New Testament Christians we have learned that we are obedient and that we should strive to do what God says and what God says alone.

So today we continue our thoughts by looking at yet another important part of being the special people of God. We are God’s special people in the fact that we have been chosen and that we are separate. So what does this mean? I want you to begin with me this morning in 2Corinthians 6 here as Paul deals with the church of Corinth he makes mention of several things in relationship to their ability to have fellowship with God. And in the fact that they have fellowship with God as children of God they should not be deceived into thinking that they can somehow be yoked together, or joined together, with those things that are of sin, darkness, or wickedness. Right after he makes these statements, and it is certainly a beautiful thought there in verse 11 on down into verse 16 he begins then to say this. God quotes himself from the Old Covenant saying this, “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” You see the idea again that a special God and a special people. He is our God and we are His people, He dwells and walks amongst the faithful.

But then in verse 17 notice what He goes on to say again quoting on some old passages again in for instance the book of Isaiah and Samuel and He makes this statement, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Did you catch the beautiful thought there? The wondrous thought that we are the sons and daughters of God. And what is it that qualifies us to be such besides the fact that God has chosen us and therefore we obey what God has asked to be His children. Well, what is a part he says verse 17 is that we would come out from among them and be separate. Have you ever noticed in the Bible that God has always wanted His people to be different? Now that is quite a challenge because in our world today we really want to be like everyone else, and we want to keep up with everyone else. We want to somehow be seen as just normal, we don’t want people to think we are weird, or that we dress different, or that we look different or that our hair is different. We want to really just be like everyone else. That is really a sad thing because it is just the opposite of what the Bible challenges us to be in so many ways. The Bible says that we are to really come out from amongst the world and come out of darkness to be children of light, children of God. That has always been God’s desire in fact we can go back into the Old Testament and begin to see the things even spoken to the children of God.

We can begin with some specific examples for instance you might recall with me the beautiful story of Noah in Genesis 6 beginning he was a righteous man. But earlier in that same text their of 6:1 it says that as the population of the earth began to increase that verse 2, “the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves.” Then the very next thing that we learned is that the entire population of the earth after the Sons of God mixed with the daughters of men, in other words they mixed with those who were wicked or sinful of the earth. The next thing we learn is that of all the people in the earth the only ones who were righteous are Noah, his wife, his three sons, and there wives. Furthermore verse 5 says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent or the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Now we go from there we begin to see as God chooses Abraham that he challenges Isaac to get a proper wife. Not to just marry anyone of the world, one who was a pagan or one who rejected the true God of Israel, but to marry a family member, one of a proper lineage and of a proper nation. Then we see this continuing not only with Abraham’s son Isaac, but Isaac’s son Jacob and Esau. You might even recall that eventually Jacob is sent back to the homeland to find a proper wife and Esau then again remembers that these wives that I picked, these pagan wives are not pleasing to my family. Well, that was a part of what God’s plan was, that they would be a special people and remain within the special people and to make sure that those who they interact with or that they join themselves with that their minds and hearts are focused as much on God as the one who loved God themselves. What kind of true life can we have, good life? What kind of real home or marriage relationship can we have with someone who doesn’t even believe in our God, who doesn’t even respect our God, who doesn’t believe in His word and who is not willing to obey Him? How can I be joined to one who does not love my God? Is God first in my life? Well you see the point. The point is, is that we were told to come out and be separate. We cannot be like the world.

We move over to the book of Kings, 1Kings 8 and we learn there that Solomon is also speaking of the commitment or the time when he would bring the temple into the dedication of God. As Solomon speaks there he again mentions the idea that God has set them apart, has set the people of God apart from the nations of the earth. It wasn’t just there with Solomon but David, but we really can even back up and we can say this was already intact in the days of Moses and Joshua because when they went into the land of Canaan what did God tell Moses and Joshua the leaders? When they went in they were to drive out or to destroy all of the other nations. Why do you think that is true? Because if the special people of God begins to interact with the pagan nations or the nations which are not followers of God what do we find happening every time in the Bible? Eventually, the people of God begin to become pagans and turn away from God as well. We must come out and be separate, we must be unique, we must be special. We must be what God would have us to be in all respects, not just the ones that are convenient for us or that we like or that feel good; in all respects.

In fact if we go back to our main text their in 2Corinthians 6:17 you might remember that it not only says to come out and be separate from them. But then He says this, “Do not touch what is unclean.” Do we really get the fact that God is Holy, and therefore those things which are unholy cannot be a part of Him? Do we really get the fact that God is clean and pure and those things that are unclean or impure cannot take part with Him? Do we really get the idea 1John 1 that God is light and there is no darkness in God at all, sin, wickedness, evil. And therefore if we are to be in God we must be in the light and as there is not darkness in the light of God there can be no darkness in us. That is what we should at least strive for, that we stay away from sin that we stay out of a sinful world. We must come out of darkness that is why in Colossians 1:13 that we read that we have been translated out of darkness and place into the kingdom of the dear Son of His love. We are brought out; we are made separate from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God. Righteousness, purity, holiness, Godliness all those things that are right, good, and perfect according to the Will of God. You see this has always been the plan of God and not only under the Old Covenant but as Paul reiterates here even under the New Covenant. If you want God as your Father if you want to be His sons and daughters you must come out from amongst the other nations, come out from amongst the wickedness and the sin of this world, and you must be separate from such, proving therefore that you are exactly what it is that God would have you to be.

Now one text that to me really helps us to see this in maybe the application is found over in the book of Romans 12. This will not be a new text to you because we have no doubt mentioned it many times on the television program here, if you read your Bibles, or study your Bibles, if you go to church. This is a text that is so encouraging because it challenges us to try to get it right. So when we look here in verse 1 of chapter 12 it says, “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” You see right off the bat he is saying there is a duty that we have. A duty to be acceptable to God and how we do that is by being living sacrifices, that requires being holy and acceptable to God. If we are going to be holy and acceptable what does that mean? It means we are going to have to come out of the worldly things again. But then really verse 2 brings it home because in verse 2 he adds, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. We are to what? We are to not be like the world conformed to the world, but to be transformed from the world. Do you know what that means? It means we are suppose to be different, we are suppose to act different, we are suppose to speak different, we are suppose to look different. For we have come out of the world, we have come out of worldly sinful things, things that might cause people to feel like we are of the world and we have come out that we might be known as what, His own special people. His own glorious, holy nation that we in all things might be as it says here holy and acceptable to God but then as verse 2 says that we may prove what His good and acceptable and perfect Will is.

Do you want to please your God and Father as sons and daughters? Well, that is the only way we can be found as acceptable in His sight is if we please God. As we looked at last week if we obeyed God therefore showing that we love Him enough to do what He says. But then to be perfect in His sight, to be perfect in His sight means that we have chosen to put away the world and the wickedness of it, that we have put away the sins of this life. In fact think for a moment with me, is that not what we do when we become a Christian? Is that not what repentance is all about? Acknowledging what the Old man, the Old sinful way was, how even Paul and so many other writers in the New Testament say that we have died to the Old man, and the ways of the Old man, and the sins of the Old man, and we have turned to be like Christ putting on heavenly things and Godly things. Well, you see that is this idea of being separate of being unique. Now as I say these things as well that I would not want you to get the wrong idea that I am trying to say that we are not suppose to go out and be weird just for the sake of being weird or different for the sake of being different. What we are talking about are standards and norms based on God’s morality, God’s Will, God’s word rather than that of the worlds. In the fact that we always choose to stand with God is going to make us different from the world in a lot of our thoughts, in a lot of the things that we say, in the things that we don’t say, the language that we don’t use, the actions that we don’t engage in, the things that we will not participate in. You see it makes us different. It makes our friends, neighbors, families, and relatives here that we must be separate and are willing to be separate for even Jesus was willing to be separate as a Holy one of God, as the Son of God, as God in the flesh. Hebrews 7:26 says that Jesus separated Himself from sin and sinners. In other words it doesn’t mean that He wasn’t willing to go preach and teach to them, we have many examples of that. What it means is that He was not willing to join and to take part in someone else’s sin or the sin of the world. He came out of sin and stayed away from sin the same way that certainly we must do in order to stay right with God. No wonder then Joseph ran from Pharaohs wife because he was tempted and he didn’t want to give into the sin so therefore he had to separate himself and to flee the sin in order that he might be right.

Finally, I would ask you to think about Matthew 25:32 for there we learn the fact that someday Jesus will separate the sheep and the goats. The very ideology shows again a division, a dividing by God of those who are righteous and unrighteous. What do you think will determine that? The goats there indicate those of the world, the evils of the world and the flesh but the sheep being set apart. Will we be those sheep? Will we be among those sheep? For we have separated ourselves, for we have come out of the world, and we have taken on a holy, pure, and true nature of Jesus Christ. Isn’t that what you want in this life for if you live that way you will have the promise and reward of heaven some day.

(SONG # 3 - “I’ll Fly Away!”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord’s day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

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Brethren and friends, have we come out from among the world in order to be separate from all that which is contrary to God? May we be thankful to be God’s “called out,” having been transformed from this world into Children of His Marvelous Light.

(PROGRAM CLOSING)